This past Saturday, John & I were alternatingly excited to return to the States to visit our family, and depressed to be leaving 72F weather for impending snow & windchills of -30F below zero. After another magical sub-30 minute trip to the airport at 7:30AM, we confirmed that American Airlines is the least organized airline at the Mexico City airport. On every Mexican airline flight I’ve taken, checking-in has taken roughly 10 minutes thanks to ~10 staffed windows. American had 3 people checking in the entire coach class of flights to Dallas, Miami and Chicago, so we stood in line for 60 minutes but still had time to spare. Note to self– fly Mexican airlines in/out of D.F., because they are more efficient and you get free food (actual food, not just pretzels) & booze on board.
Flying via Dallas (a wise choice, since every other hub in the US was slammed by snow/ice storms), we had a couple hours to kill during our layover. We seized the opportunity to re-acquaint ourselves with American-style dining, namely absolutely mammoth portions of food, but best of all, drinkable tap water!! And lemons!!
Recounting this exciting fact to my mom later, she queried whether I had seen the recent filthy-lemons exposes. I confirmed yes, but I was fairly certain that no piddly lemon bacteria could rival that which my stomach was attempting to acquire in Mexico City.
Anyway, we actually made it into Omaha ON TIME!! (unlike my brother, stranded until 1.5 days later), and had a lovely dinner at my fav restaurant the Upstream Brewery with some friends & family before hitting the cooold cold roads with the aforementioned -30F windchill. Our first few days here in scenic Grand Island have not disappointed.
The illustrious Conestoga Mall has added a few gems to its collection of bustling stores, including some sort of John Deere souvenir store that was a prime spot for photos. The old movie theatre has been taken over by Glowgolf (what in the hell??), a hot new activity that my mom informs me is “very popular with the kids these days”.
Luckily, our standby from junior high “drop us off at the mall on Saturday afternoon and we will spend 4 hours walking by 50 stores & hoping to see somebody cool” days is still kicking: The Incredible Bulk, a wittily named candy store. There has been a lot of turnover at the Conestoga Mall, but apparently the demand for products to help you get fatter rarely dies down.
And finally, the mall also now has a trendy pet products store, so trendy that my mom was able to purchase a sweater for our dog Dave, the Jack Russell Terrier. Dave is getting a bit old & seems to get chilled easily, so she felt a sweater might be just the thing, and clearly what is better than a dog sweater? A MEXICAN FLAG dog sweater!!!
The only other highlight was my strange compulsion to visit one of the Mexican grocery stores in town last night, I guess to see if there would be any wacky ingredients that we now know how to use that we could surprise my parents with. And, I guess, the latent hope that here perhaps John & I speaking Spanish would be novel & perhaps we could impress someone (unlike in D.F., where we just look like morons). Unfortunately, our attempts to bond with the La Mexicana store employee didn’t go very smoothly, as she didn’t seem particularly comfortable with John’s repeated attempts to ask how long she’d been living in Grand Island. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.